Sinn Féín MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called for an independent environmental report to be commissioned on a plastics factory in West Cork.
The Ireland South MEP was speaking after An Bord Pleanala approved planning permission for a plastics factory near Skibbereen.
“The national authorities and the company behind the factory needed to take steps to reduce residents’ fears and have an independent environmental report commissioned on its impact,” she said.
“The local communities affected have raised significant concerns over environmental, health and traffic issues, especially regarding emissions and the pollution of the waterways around Skibbereen which are widely used by the local rowing club and by shellfish farmers.
“The issue highlights the growing awareness around plastic pollution of the environment.
“A new study has found evidence of microplastic in the deepest parts of the world´s oceans.
“Researchers analyzed water samples from the Mariana Trench and found as many as 2000 pieces of microplastic in one liter of water.
“Plastic has polluted every nook and cranny of the planet. Carcasses of seabirds and marine creatures like whales have been cut open only to find their stomachs full of plastic. Large whales have been found beached with 17 pounds of plastic inside of them.
“”For us to tackle marine litter and plastic pollution globally, we need rigorous coordinated action at local, national and international level.”